Before talking about Kyoto, you need some basic information about Japan. Japan consists mainly of four big islands; Hokkaido, Honshu , Shikoku and Kyushu (from north to south). Honshu consists of Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kansai and Chugoku regions from north to south. Kyoto is the name of both a prefecture/state and its main city which is located in the Kansai district.
As you might know, the current capital of Japan is Tokyo, which is located in central east Honshu (Please check the map of Japan). Tokyo has a wide variety of places to visit. If you like animation and Japanese pop culture, you ought to go to Akihabara. And you can enjoy western style night life in the Roppongi area. Looking for some traditional Japanese sights? Asakusa fits the bill. So you can get a little bit of everything. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
And yet I moved from Tokyo to Kyoto. So if you ask me why, I would say, Kyoto is the REAL and traditional Japan. As a city, it’s a bit smaller compared to other popular cities in Japan such as Tokyo, Yokohama or Osaka; there is tons of natural beauty and a traditional atmosphere that you can’t feel anywhere else. Don’t forget that this city is also one of the most historical places in Japan with 14 World Heritage Sites, 39 National Treasures, and 171 Important Cultural Properties as of 2013. These elements create a unique atmosphere which somehow makes you feel that time is passing more slowly.